Friday, May 15, 2009

Educational Aside : Slow motion replays

This is a collection of launches in slow motion from Rocketcar Day 11.

Things to spot apart from how great slow motion is.

- pipe car: engine a bit low so it makes it rear up. Wheels a bit wobbly but good soft rubber helps it hang onto the road

- brain car : was going pretty well but i think too short. 6 wheels didn't seem to hurt it though, maybe helped it stay straigther for longer.
- pipe car 2 : this was basically the same car as the first one but was a bit lighter due to having a smaller driver. Same engine position, interesting how much more flippy it was
- spinning trebuchet of doom: obviously, don't do this. Amazing in slow motion though.
- london bus: engine too far above wheel base. Obviously the lid flying off into the crowd not a good vibe.
- recorder car: pretty good but too short. Maybe if it had a drogue, it wouldn't have been spun around before it got going.
- long black car : This in theory should have been good. It had the length, but i suspect the engine direction did not equal the wheel/chassis direction

I think the basics are still true. It's a balance of:
- car needs to be straight
- the engine / thrust vector needs to be in line with the wheel base
- the wheels should be oiled and soft to cope with the road bumps
- point your car straight to start with (watch out for the road camber)
- a drogue helps stopping the car spin before it gets momentum up

Amidst the smoke and the sound and the stink of rocketcars veering off course and racing into the crowd, sometimes you miss the poetry of these little cars. Comparatively Huge engines strapped onto tiny, malaligned experiments of cars leads to fantastic drama: this video breaks down just what type. Respect.

(also thanks to daniel heckenberg for the slow-mo-arama)


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